Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Professor of Food Studies, New York University
Website URL
Discourses of dieting, nutrition and health in American culture, cultural and social histories of food, taste and sustainable food systems, history of the baby food industry, theories of infant feeding
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Personal Info

About Me

Amy Bentley is Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. A historian with interests in the social, historical, and cultural contexts of food, she is the author of Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health, and the Industrialization of the American Diet (University of California Press, 2014) (, which was a finalist for a James Beard Award, and also winner of the ASFS Best Book Award. Other publications include Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity (University of Illinois, 1998), A Cultural History of Food in the Modern Era(editor) (Berg, 2011), as well as articles on such diverse topics as the politics of southwestern cuisine, a historiography of food riots, and the cultural implications of the Atkins diet. Bentley is co-founder of the Experimental Cuisine Collective, an interdisciplinary group of scientists, food studies scholars and chefs who study the intersection of science and food (currently in hiatus), co-founder of the NYU Urban Farm Lab, and also serves as a Faculty Fellow in Residence at Brittany Hall at NYU. She is Editor of Food, Culture, and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, and is a board member for the journals Food and Foodways and the Graduate Journal of Food Studies. 

Recent Publications
  • Bentley, Amy. “How Ketchup Revolutionized How Food is Grown, Processed, and Regulated” June 4, 2018.
  • Bentley, Amy. “Is Ketchup the Perfect Complement to the American Diet?” June 4, 2018.
  • Bentley, Amy. “What Should Babies Eat and Whose Business is it? In Matthew Booker and Chad Ludington, Eds. Food Fights: How the Past Matters in Contemporary Food Debates (University of North Carolina Press, forthcoming).
  • Bentley, Amy. Ketchup as a Vegetable: Condiments, Culture and the Politics of School Lunch in Reagan’s America. In Deirdre Murphy, Beth Forrest, and Andrew Donnelly, Eds. Sauces and Identity in the Western World,(Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
  • Bentley, Amy and Shayne Leslie Figueroa. “A History of Food in Popular Culture Over the Life Span,” in Peter Naccarato and Kathleen LeBesco, Eds. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Food and Popular Culture (Bloomsbury, 2017): 83-95.
  • Albala, Ken, Warren Belasco, Amy Bentley, Lisa Heldke, and Alex McIntosh. FCS Editors’ Roundtable: Reflections on the Twentieth Anniversary of the Journal.” Food, Culture and Society 20:1(March 2017): 1-14.
  • Bentley, Amy. Foreward for Around the World in 80 Purees: Easy Recipes for Global Baby Food, by Leena Saini (Philadelphia: Quirk Books, 2016).
  • Bentley, Amy. “Growing Concerns.” The Times Literary Supplement (March 25, 2016).
  • Bentley, Amy. “Hands that Itch to Hold the Spoon.” In Pathways to Family Wellness, 49 (Spring 2016), 40-42.(link)
  • Bentley, Amy and Hi’ilei Hobart. “Food in Recent U.S. History.” In Food in Time and Place: The American Historical Association Companion to Food History, eds. Paul Freedman, Joyce E. Chaplin, and Ken Albala (University of California Press, 2014): 165-187. (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health, and the Industrialization of the American Diet. University of California Press (September, 2014). (link)
  • Bentley, Amy. Editor and “Introduction.” A Cultural History of Food in the Modern Age (Berg Publishers, 2011). (link)
  • Bentley, Amy. Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity (Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 1998). (view)
  • Bentley, Amy, et al. “TED Studies: Sustainable Consumption – Reworking the Western Diet” (August 2013). Also available on ITunesU.(link)
  • Yelvington, Kevin A. and Amy Bentley, “Mintz, Sidney,” in R. Jon McGee and Richard L. Warms (eds.), Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology: An Encyclopedia, Los Angeles: Sage Reference (2013), pp. 548-552. (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “Sustenance, Abundance, and the Place of Food in United States Histories.” In Kyri Claflin and Peter Scholliers, eds. Global Food Historiography: Researchers, Writers, & the Study of Food (Berg, 2012), pp.72-86. (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “The Frontiers of Food Studies,” with Belasco et al. Food, Culture and Society, Vol, 14, No. 3, (September, 2011):301-314.(view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “Eating in Class: Gastronomy, Taste, Nutrition, and Teaching Food History,” with Bender at al. Radical History Review, 110 (Spring 2011): 197-216. (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “Historians and the Study of Material Culture,” with Auslander, et al. American Historical Review, 114(December 2009): 1355-1404. (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “Introduction” and Guest Editor, “Sweetness and Power: Rethinking Sidney Mintz’s Classic Work.” Food and Foodways, Vol. 16, No. 2(2008). (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “The Politics on Our Plates.” The Chronicle Review (Chronicle of Higher Education), Volume LIII, No. 8(October 18 2006): B13-B15. (link)
  • Bentley, Amy. “Booming Baby Food: Infant Food and Feeding in Post-World War II America.” Michigan Historical Review 32, 2(Fall 2006): 63-88. (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “Men on Atkins: Dieting, Meat, and Masculinity.” In The Atkins Diet and Philosophy, eds. Lisa Heldke, et al, (Chicago and La Salle, IL: Open Court Press, 2005): 185-195. (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “The Other Atkins Revolution: Atkins and the Shifting Culture of Dieting.” Gastronomica 4, 3(August 2004): 34-45.(view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “From Culinary Other to Mainstream American: Meanings and Uses of Southwestern Cuisine.” In Culinary Tourism: Explorations in Eating and Otherness, ed., Lucy M. Long (University of Kentucky Press, 2004): 209-225. (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “Islands of Serenity: The Icon of the Ordered Meal in World War II.” In Food and Culture in the United States: A Reader, ed., Carol Counihan (Routledge, 2002):171-192 (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “Reading Food Riots: Scarcity, Abundance, and National Identity.” In Food, Drink and Identities, ed., Peter Scholliers (Oxford and New York: Berg, 2001): 179-183 (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “Inventing Baby Food: Gerber and the Discourse of Infancy in the United States.” In Food Nations: Selling Taste in Consumer Societies, eds. Warren Belasco and Phillip Scranton (Routledge, 2001): 92-112. (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “Martha’s Food: Whiteness of a Certain Kind.” American Studies, 42:2 (Summer 2001): 5-29. (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “American Abundance Examined: David M. Potter’s Paradox of Plenty and the Study of Food.” Digest: An Interdisciplinary Study of Food and Foodways 15(1995): 20-24. (view)
  • Bentley, Amy. “Uneasy Sacrifice: The Politics of United States Famine Relief, 1945-48.” Agriculture and Human Values 11,4(1994): 4-18.(view)
Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Food History, Women, World War II